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My daughter speaks in 3rd person, just like Elmo does....

Posted by on Dec. 28, 2012 at 11:10 AM
  • 9 Replies

My daughter, Summer who is 3 has made such tremendous progress in the last 6mo and i am BEYOND proud of her, so this is FAR from a post of me just curious.

I have developed unsurmountable patience since having my daughter...and actually alot of her "quirks" are endearing to me, but there is just ONE thing that i am really concerned/worried/curious about.....She talks in third person. She calls herself Summer, and i know this is because when her receptive and expressive language was being developed, Summer's ABA teachers and i would say things like "Summer does" ((after one of us would lets say....put a puzzle peice in and it was now Summer's turn and we wanted her to do it, y'know?))

   She is in this AMAZING preschool, and i have brought it up to my dd's speech teacher and main classroom teacher. Summer is VERY smart, and picks yup things very i don't doubt that she will adapt, but i worry that if we wait any longer that she will get SO set in her ways of Third person speech that it will be even HARDER to change. Don't get me wrong, it's kinda cute for a 3yr old to refer to herself in third person, but it stops being cute at like.6.

  I haven't gotten to hear if the other children in her class ((shes in an 8:2:1 class)) speak in third person, but i know its not the "typical" way of speech for a toddler, i mean MAYBE its ok for Elmo ((who is a puppet)) to eternally speak in that manner, but i don't think it is for my daughter.


by on Dec. 28, 2012 at 11:10 AM
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by on Dec. 28, 2012 at 2:07 PM

My daughter did this until about 3-3.5 years old.  As she got the hang of "his/hers" and "me/him/her" then she started using "I" more.  Of note, she loves Elmo and will likely marry him so it could be she only cared what Elmo said:)  but yes, tons of third person speech and still now that she's nearly 4 some of her "go to" phrases still include "Katy" instead of me or I, but if I ask her oh what did you want? Then she will use the right word. 

by Silver Member on Dec. 28, 2012 at 2:49 PM
It's very common for those with ASD to have difficulty with pronouns. My cousin is 12 years old and he still refers to himself by name.
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by Bronze Member on Dec. 28, 2012 at 6:02 PM

My son is eight and still has trouble with pronouns.  He knows what he wants to say and we know what he is saying, but sometimes the whole him her she his stuff gets confusing for him.  I think I read somewhere that it is difficult for ASD people to wrap their heads around all of these words because they are all basically referring to the one person they are talking about.  I haven't got any suggestions for you, unfortunately.  (And as an aside, there is a pop star here who is probably 30 something now and she still refers to herself in the third person, it is kind of her trademark if you ask me, so who knows?)  Although now that I think about it, I often say sentences back to my son when he has conjugated a verb the wrong way.  He often adds "es" to his verbs. It is really hard to get him to change to the right tense "He goeses swimming everyday", for example, and I will say "He goes swimming everyday" and he says nothing in response.  I don't want to continually point out all of his mistakes so I generally repeat back with the right words.  Other than that, I don't know what to do and am looking forward to see more replies to your post!

by Silver Member on Dec. 28, 2012 at 7:12 PM
My 5 yr old does the same thing.
I include time in the mirror for him to connect his third person to his first.

But after 8 months, he uses me, instead of his name or the boy.

In the mirror I say to him, I'm Mommy, that's me. I'd have him do it after baths for a few minutes.

This is progress
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by on Dec. 28, 2012 at 7:55 PM
Not all the time, but when he was that age he'd say " Dillon wants juice" but never in a real conversation. I know this is something she'll grow out of... But it wouldn't hurt to correct her since it seems she is really receptive to therapy and am sure she would take your cue!
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by Kari on Dec. 28, 2012 at 8:34 PM

Hi, my little guy (now 8) called himself by his surname and also various pronouns including an occasional "she." It felt pretty natural to me and he eventually out grew it. It was around the same time he had an invisible friend who was VERY real to him (we had to set the table for her etc.) Think about it, how many times have you said "Mommy is going to give you a bath now"or "Mommy loves you so much!" Try not to worry...I know it is hard but their little minds are growing so fast and in so many directions. Maybe she is just mimicking Elmo because she adores him!

When we find out our babies are "different" we tend to look at all their behavior and many of the things they do with a critical eye, even if it is not the "norm" it can be perfectly normal. You are a good mom for caring so much but I think it is a passing stage... xo

by on Dec. 29, 2012 at 6:48 AM

 I only started using third person speech for myself when i saw My daughters' ABA therapists do it, it took a bit cause speaking that way just DOES NOT come naturally to me yknow? I like the idea of "Mirror time" ((my dd LOVE LOVE LOVES lookin at herself in the mirror, on video, and in photo)). I really hope ((for her sake)) that she out grows this, and that progress is made before it becomes a reason for other kids to tease her. She's SUCH a sweet, smart, kind, friendly child and this is something i KNOW she would be able to grasp with enough focus.

   I am curious as to what else i can do, i have an APP on the new ipad i got for xmas that focus' on pronouns and first person placements.

by on Dec. 29, 2012 at 9:22 AM

My son only referred to him self as "guy" for 6-8 months. That's guy book, guy wants juice, etc. He never said his own name til he was over 3 and then he would replace guy with his name. I think he is just learning as he goes and just doesn't grasp the i me he she thing yet

by Silver Member on Dec. 29, 2012 at 12:00 PM

I understand wanting your kids to grow out of a characteristics that some kids may use to tease them. One of two things happen, the quirks are endearing or strange. I have found that my son is able to make people laugh with his quirks, not making fun of him, but friendly. At times, they mimic what he does; so at times some of the quirks remind us to think outside the box.


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